Match Preview – Atletico de Madrid vs Real Sociedad
Matchday 27 – Atlético Madrid v Real Sociedad – Match Preview
Tuesday 1st March 2016
Atletico Madrid are currently second in the table and in great shape to end the season in the top two. Their recent form has been very consistent. They have gone four games without conceding a single goal and have only lost twice since Christmas—those coming in back-to-back fixtures at the end of January, they were unbeaten in February.
They effectively ended Real Madrid’s title hopes with their 0-1 win at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday. Real Sociedad old boy Antoine Griezmann’s 53rd-minute goal gave the 2013-14 champions a vital Madrid derby victory.
It was Griezmann’s 13th league goal of the season and followed a period in which the Frenchman had gone five games without scoring. He is likely to prove to be the key player in this fixture and Real will need to keep him under control to have any chance of gaining even a point from this fixture.
Defensively Atletico are the strongest team Europe and have kept the most clean sheets in the top five European Leagues this season (17). Keeper Jan Oblak has been in goal for all 26 league matches this season and his record is remarkable.
Atletico have won four of their last five league games against Real Sociedad, making them strong favourites tonight. In the reverse fixture in San Sebastián, Griezmann was at times unplayable, with a brilliant display of movement, pace and direct running. He scored what, so far, is probably his best goal of the season, with a solo run and composed finish that resulted in a 0 – 2 Atletico win.
Real Sociedad arrive in the capital in a fine run of form, having won four of their last five La Liga matches, moving up to 9th position in the table. However the Basque club were well beaten on their last two visits to the Calderon stadium, losing 2-0 last April and 4-0 in February 2014. The last Txuri Urdin win at Vicente Calderon came in March 2013 thanks to the only goal of the game scored by Xabi Prieto.
Eusebio has named the following squad for this match:
Rulli, Olazabal, Zaldua, Elustondo, Mikel, Diego Reyes, Héctor, De la Bella, Yuri, Illarra, Granero, Rubén Pardo, Xabi Prieto, Capilla, Oyarzabal, Bruma, Vela and Jonathas.
Striker Jonathas, Asier Illarramendi and Aritz Elustondo rejoin the squad following their suspension but Inigo Martinez is banned following his yellow card against Malaga. Striker Imanol Agirretxe is omitted but Eneko Capilla is retained to provide additional midfield cover.
Bookmakers Bet 365 offer the following odds for this match:
Atlético Madrid to win 5/11, Draw 10/3 and Real Sociedad to win 17/2.